Suicide is Complicated

These Muddy Waters

I was having a conversation a few nights ago with someone who had a friend who committed suicide last year. He asked me “What triggers it? What were the actual thoughts?” I had previously stated that the feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness and an unending pain went on for so long that it felt unbearable. It seemed unending. I was speaking from my own experience. My own feelings.

What I wasn’t able to answer, was what specifically that person’s own circumstances were. People have their own unique set of situations that lead us into the abyss and down into the darkness we can’t seem to find our way out of. At different times I have felt suicidal, there have been slightly different sets of trials and tribulations. For me, most of them revolve  around personal relationships and abandonment issues. Again

Postpartum Psychosis, suicide, natachia barlow ramsey, depression, maternal mental health

that arises in different ways as well. 

Through the years I have learned to identify it and recognize the ways in which I start to become affected. I have spoken of this before. 
I have suffered from depression with suicidal ideation since I was 11 years old. Maybe younger, but that’s as far back as I can remember having thoughts of taking my own life. 
So there are times in my life that I actively get up and say to myself, I am going to live today. That may not make sense to many of you. But, there are some of you that will make perfect sense to.
Even before I became ill with Postpartum Psychosis, I had a family history of suicide and depression. 
I would like to believe I am a good example of what not to do after your mother commits suicide and a year later her father kills himself. Please get the family into therapy. Don’t think everything will just be okay. It will rear it’s head eventually. You will have dysfunction a day, or a decade later. 
Drafted January 18th, 2016
This is my life. All I can do is keep breathing and there are days when that is all I do. Suicide became my friend early in life. It muddied the waters for me, especially after my mother hung herself. That was my first up close and personal experience with it. Since that time I have lost both family and friends to suicide. I have my own scars, internal and external.

I sat with someone today for lunch who had expressed needing a friend to talk to. I knew he had gone through a divorce and had a rough time of it and was still a little angry over the breaking down of his family. I have a tough time not reaching out when others appear vulnerable, because I understand what that is like.
I wish we as a community did more to build each other up, even if all it is was meeting someone for lunch. People don’t want to be forgotten. They want to know they are important. Remembered. No one should ever feel so empty, so alone, so forgotten, hopeless that things will never change for them, that they want to die.

Please reach out for help if you or someone in your family is thinking about suicide. If you know someone who has committed suicide and want to talk call the lifeline http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis, suicide, maya angelou, depression, life, poemI wish I could have answered those questions for him. But there’s always muddy water when someone takes their own life. There was never one specific thing that triggered it for me. There may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. But it was usually a culmination of things over a period of time. Some questions that will forever remain unanswered. It’s something you have to make peace with.
Suicide is a tricky bitch. I may be smiling but in the back of my mind I am having those thoughts. They whisper to you, they comfort you. They were just hiding their pain.

Every person has a breaking point. My heart is aching right now as I think about the people I have lost and that I wish I could go back because I know better now. There are some it was so obvious but I was just too young, too inexperienced, too naive. I couldn’t have saved them all, but I could have made a difference to some. Maybe unmuddy the waters a bit. Because life’s complicated enough.


Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Maternal Mental Health: Pre-Existing Risk Factors for PTSD and Childbirth — Giving Birth with Confidence

Below is a link to an article I got from +Walker Karraa, citing risk factors for women who may have had trauma before getting pregnant and why they’re at a greater risk for developing Postpartum Mental Health Disorders…

Maternal Mental Health: Pre-Existing Risk Factors for PTSD and Childbirth — Giving Birth with Confidence

Why was Postpartum Psychosis not considered a medical condition?

Why was Postpartum Psychosis not Considered a medical condition?

Reading Beyond the Headlines: A Closer Look at the Study on Antidepressants During Pregnancy, are antidepressants safe during pregnancy, depression during pregnancy — Giving Birth with Confidence

Reading Beyond the Headlines: A Closer Look at the Study on Antidepressants During Pregnancy, are antidepressants safe during pregnancy, depression during pregnancy — Giving Birth with Confidence

Suicide is Like a Disease

What Doesn’t Kill You?

Suicide seems to run rampant in my family. Spreading itself around like a transmittable disease. I keep hoping to “Cure” my family of it, but it appears to have dug its roots deep.

I remember when my grandfather came into the room where I was sleeping to tell me my mother had died. I had gone to bed early. It was around 9pm and I remember him say “Tachia, Tachia” by the second time he’d said my name I was just beginning to wake up and said “what?” he replied “you’re mother is dead”. I said “okay” and rolled back over to sleep.

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My sister and I in 1981

I was 14 years old. I remember still trying to sleep and thinking I couldn’t have heard him correctly. As I layed there I heard him on the telephone (one of the old rotary dial phones) making calls and talking to people. As I was still half asleep, I could heard him crying. I thought he was laughing. I remember thinking; why is he telling everyone my mother is dead? Why would he joke about that? Then I heard him blow his nose. I realized in that moment he was crying, not laughing. I sat straight up in bed and felt sick. I continued to sit there listening for a few more minutes and thought how could she be dead? Nothing made any sense.
I got up and went into the kitchen where my grandfather was. I asked him if it was true, was she really dead. He said yes. He then told me she had overdosed on pills and a police officer had come over to tell him. (The fact that she hung herself was
supposed to be a secret for some reason in my family, we didn’t talk about this. So I just pretended I didn’t know the difference) This was when he informed me since I was the oldest child it was my responsibility to make the arrangements. We had to be at the funeral parlor the next morning. I was surprised but said okay.

You see we had had a really tumultuous past couple of days. This was not anything particularly new for us. We often moved out and back into the Mobile home where we lived with my step-dad. So when she had sent me with all our things earlier that day to my grandfather’s and said she would be over later, I figured I would just be bringing it back the following day. That was the typical MO. Instead I went through all the boxes and picked out an outfit I knew she had wanted to wear to a Christmas party several months prior but hadn’t gone to. The next day as we sat at the funeral home I felt so numb and empty. I remember going into this room where they kept all the caskets on display to pick one out. Writing the obituary and finally demanding to see her because my mother couldn’t possibly be dead.
At first I felt very proud that I was given this responsibility for my mother. It was only later that I realized how much I didn’t want to pick a casket out for her.

I believe completely now that the toll of my mother’s suicide and the option it seemed to enable for the family contributed to my Grandfather shooting himself in the heart 15 months later. There was a multitude of other factors involved. But do I think he would have chosen that option had it not been for my mother’s choice the year before? No, I do not.
So what about me? Do I think I would have suffered from Postpartum Psychosis at 25? That’s a really good question and one I have talked about in therapy many, many times. There were a lot of situational factors involved when I was ill. What I do know is that if someone had reached out to my family after my mother’s suicide and the family had been given some kind of grief counseling and suicide prevention intervention; my grandfather may not have killed himself. I know that at 14 years old someone should have been looking out for me to put me into therapy.
Suicide spreads like a disease. Take a look at my family, at my choices, at my attempts at suicide. Not talking about it doesn’t help anyone. It didn’t help me, it eventually drove me mad. I still grieve for my mother. I still share her ashes with my sister in a small crystal vase. We take turns “keeping her” for a while.
I’m not sure I’ll ever stop grieving for my mother or my son. It just stays with you, always.